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15-16 November 2023, Olympia London

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10 Nov 2022

People newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are eligible for ground-breaking cancer study

People newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are eligible for ground-breaking cancer study

Researchers are actively recruiting people aged 50 and over who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the past six months for a new study into pancreatic cancer.

UK-EDI (UK Early Detection Initiative for Pancreatic Cancer) is a relatively new research programme funded by Cancer Research UK which is exploring the link between new-onset diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

For approximately one in 100 people, a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is an early warning sign of pancreatic cancer and the researchers hope their study will help to uncover biomarkers for the deadly cancer.

Chief Investigator Professor Eithne Costello said: “Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers and eight in 10 patients cannot even be offered potentially life-saving surgery because the cancer is too advanced when it is first detected.

“There is no regular screening for this cancer because there are currently no established biomarkers for early signs of the condition.

“However, we know that well over half of all pancreatic cancer patients have elevated blood sugars and three in 10 will have recently become diabetic.

“The diabetes precedes the cancer by a year or so and this window is when a timely intervention can save lives.

“By collecting blood samples and clinical data from participants every six months for a couple of years we hope to be able to discover differences between those who do and those who don’t go on to develop pancreatic cancer so we can identify biomarkers for the disease.”

The study began in March 2020 but it very quickly had to come to a halt because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, researchers are turning to healthcare professionals working in the field of diabetes to help them identify suitable participants for the study so work can begin in earnest as quickly as possible.

Healthcare professionals who may be able to put UK-EDI in touch with suitable participants for the study are invited to email Study Coordinator Rob Hanson at ukedi@liverpool.ac.uk

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